The Hoboken City Council will vote on whether or not to appoint replacements for two members of the Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board next week, as recommended by Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Mike Lenz, the chairman of the board and a former councilman, and Cheryl Fallick were both appointed by then-Mayor Dawn Zimmer, in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and were both reappointed on February 5th, 2014.
If the council follows through with Bhalla’s recommendations, they will be replaced by Heath Urban and Warren Hall.
“Per city code, Mayor Bhalla has nominated the following individuals to serve as regular members on the Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board, subject to city council consent:
Daniel Schott, Warren Hall, Eric Osborn-Focht, Jason Maurer, Heath Urban, Michael Mastropasqua, and Rosemary Orozco. Mayor Bhalla has the utmost confidence in the abilities of these appointees,” city spokesman Juan Melli said in an email.
In this scenario, the seven-member governing body would not have two alternates readily available, a fact that Lenz mentioned to Hudson County View over the phone.
“I think the whole board is doing a great job and I think we should have been reappointed and the two new people should’ve been appointed as alternates,” Lenz said.
“To take off potentially the two most knowledgeable people on the rent leveling board who have the best intentions … I guess a lot will fall on Mike [Mastropasqua]’s shoulders. I don’t think that the best for the city is being served by this reconsideration and I think a lot of tenants will not be happy,” added Fallick.
Lenz and Fallick were two vocal supporters of 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino’s mayoral candidacy, who had a public falling out with Bhalla during the November election cycle.
Their terms expired on December 31st, 2017.
Three months after the election, tensions between the two sides remain evident to astute political observers in the Mile Square City.
In a letter to City Clerk James Farina, Bhalla wrote on Tuesday that he was appointing the seven aforementioned people to the Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board and to “please update your records and administer the oaths of office as appropriate.”
Melli did not acknowledge the letter in his response and Bhalla did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The city council will vote on the appointments at Wednesday’s 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 94 Washington St.